Writing a capability statement for a new business or a startup is quite tough and quite challenging. This is what many startups companies and new businesses think.

On the contrary, it is not that hard to write a new business capability statement.

When helping my clients with their business capability statements, a common question I am frequently asked is, “I am a startup. It is barely up and running. I barely have any projects to show. Does my startup capability statement have to have a Past Performance section? ”

This is an excellent, important and relevant question, I must say. The Past Performance section of a small business capability statement shows the proof that you HAVE done the work you said you did.

Be it one page capability statement or 5-6 page capability statement, the Past Performance section is one of the key sections of a capability statement to show your company’s expertise and experience. It lists all the projects your company has undertaken or completed.

When you put down your Past Performance in your capabilities statement, the agency that you’re trying to work with or the Federal Government in general will be assured that you know how their system works and their way of doing things.

Not many know that the federal government doesn’t specifically ask for Federal Past Performance. It doesn’t say that when you submit a capability statement of your new business to them, you necessarily need to show past projects done specifically for the federal government.

If you do not have any federal experience, then you can show your experience that you’ve had with state and local governments. This shows that you have experience not only in doing the required work, but also in contracting with other government entities.

For them, it is more important that you show your recent and relevant non-federal Past Performance. Before granting you the contract, it needs to know if your company is able to perform the many services that you claim you offer and do. If yes, then you might want to highlight the ones most related to the services you’re competing for.

But what do you do if you neither have any past experience with the federal government nor the state and local governments? But what do you do if you have zero government Past Performance?

Before you stress yourself out, just remember the purpose of Past Performance of a capability statement.

In the event of having zero government experience, you can showcase your past commercial work.

If your past projects are commercial in nature and are relevant to the work you are trying to procure and if it shows that you and your company can do then it is acceptable to use it in your professional small business capability statement. This might even help you differentiate yourself from others bidders whose government experience is generic.

How should you craft a winning capability statement wherein there’s no history of past performance at all? What do you do if you neither have any past experience with the federal government nor the state and local governments nor any past commercial work? How to write a capability statement for a new startup that has not yet done any work at all?

Is it possible to procure a government contract without any past performance? Will your startup capabilities statement be accepted?

Yes, it is possible. It is possible to win contracts with no past performances. And yes, your startup capability statement will be accepted.

It is a very common situation which can be easily addressed.

If you want to bid for federal contracts, I highly recommend you look for LPTA contracts. What is LPTA stand for? LPTA is ‘Lowest Price Technically Acceptable’ contracts. These contracts do not ask for past performance.

So, how to write a capability statement for your startup business be written? How should you design your small business capability statement? How to design your small business capability statement template?

While it is ok for your startup business not to have past projects experience, you should certainly not delete that section from your capabilities statement. I have observed that many clients want to skip that section altogether. If you are in the same boat, my advice is that you don’t skip that section. Your small business capability statement should be structured. It should follow the capability statement structure that is recommended by the federal government and/or the agencies.

So, how do you design the past performance section in your capability statement? What do you write in that section?

Before I tell you how and what to do about it, let me tell you about this capability statement example. I very much remember this client. He was an Australian client and was in the construction business. He wanted me to design a construction capability statement and also wanted me to write a small business construction capability statement. But due to his company’s lack of any projects, he wanted me to skip and delete the past performance section. I however, advised him against it. I advised him skipping that section is not the solution. Rather, turn it around.

So, how to turn it around?

Well, for starters the past performance section of your capabilities statement can say something like this: “Our key staff or our team has experience in providing or our team brings the experience of…” and so on.

Don’t assume that just because you a startup or new in business and you do not have any projects in your portfolio doesn’t mean you can’t bid on projects and win them. You CAN bid and you CAN win. All you need a well structured and well formatted and well written winning new business capability statement template and you are good to go.

Want my help to design your startup capability statement? Want me to write the content for your new business capability statement? Contact me.